A short film by Kyle and Eliza Miron, about street dogs and People for Animals.
So happy to be here. If you want to read about it, here’s my Mysore blog.
This morning I got up, fed the dogs, and made my coffee. Man, it was unbelievably hard to wake up. Much more so than usual. It took me a while to even figure out what day it was. So there I am sipping my coffee and reading, when I look up at the clock. 2:30. What?!?! I did a double take.
Apparently I *dreamt* my alarm going off. So I got up at 2:30 — not 4:15.
So here’s to an early start on the day.
I don’t want to jinx it, but the shoulder thing seems to be 99.9% resolved. At least for now. Lots of trigger point digging, moist heat and a little tweak to the alignment of down dog seem to have done the trick. Whatever the trick is.
I was resigned to bringing the shoulder pain to Mysore. After all, going there to practice is about bringing all the crap that’s currently part of your practice, right? Still, I’m happy for the reprieve.
The shoulder pain has had many incarnations over the past 7 years. But it seems to be fading, dispersing. Every recurrence is milder in character. It takes a long while and many iterations for deep pains to cycle out completely. This is a concept that doesn’t seem to resonate with those who don’t practice — civilians think every pain is a new pain, that it’s ridiculous to trace the patterns over time and see systemic evocations that are moving toward resolution. Western medicine is on their side. I don’t mind, though, because my experience is one of less and less pain.
Much like the lower back pain that hung around for 3 years. When it finally went away, it’s like it took a huge hunk of anxiety and stored memories away with it.
In the end, then, we end up empty?
Killing a little time this morning, before practice. Sunday pre-practice time is nice, but also requires a little attention: I can drink coffee and read longer than I can on a work day, but if I lounge for too long, I can get a little stuck, a little tamasic. Daisy and Waylon are snoozing on the couch beside me, and they are MODELS of tamas. Deep, dreamless sleep. With snores and occasional stretching.
I’m shifting into Mysore mode. D and I had dinner with friends last night. Alicia gave me a lovely going away gift: Shea butter in a nice tin, and a notebook for my musings. They’re already packed. I’m about 75% packed. Anna brought over some of her India clothes for me — a wrap skirt and a pair of baggy pants made the cut. I brought 5 days worth of yoga clothes last time, but really only needed three. This is the sort of stuff I’m thinking about these days, as I put things in the suitcase, then sub something out when I put something else in. I like having the finite amount of space — it helps me think. I guess I’m a designer through and through — I love having parameters, even when they’re arbitrary.
I’ll be blogging about the trip here.
The pain in my shoulder has been moving around. At first it was on the lower tip of the shoulder blade. Then it moved to the nape of my neck. I was pleased about that: the movement suggested that what I was feeling might very well be referred pain. So then it was just a case of figuring out where the trigger point was.
But first I spent a little time trying out some diagnostic tests for rotator cuff injuries (starts about a minute and a half into the vid). I have had a rotator cuff tear (from climbing, not yoga) so I am a teeny bit paranoid about them. But nope, none of the diagnostic tests brought on the pain.
So I pulled out my Trigger Point Therapy book and my handy Thera Cane and got to work. After a bit of sleuthing (and looking at referred pain patterns in the book), I managed to track down a few trigger points in my lower trapezius.
A little Thera Cane massaging and presto, the pain is much better. Or at least it keeps moving: this morning it was in my arm pit.
All of this seems to be part and parcel of opening up my shoulder girdle. Ideally, the right shoulder will just follow along as the left kind of creakily and somewhat painfully sorts itself out. The interesting thing, as always, is that I didn’t know how tight I was in my traps until they started letting loose. It’s been a helpful chain of events: the pain made me go very lightly on my shoulders in poses like kapotasana and drop backs — which shifted even more weight into my legs, which required my psoas to behave more subtly to hold everything in balance. Result: better form in those postures. Bonus!
This morning I had a root canal. There is something delightful about being in the midst of incredibly sophisticated technology (in this case an orascope) and thinking about how all of this equipment is being put to use to scrape the nerve out of a tooth — and despite all of the fancy visualization, the tool that does the real work is just a threaded piece of metal that gets twisted into the canal and then pulled out until all of the nerve is removed.
No matter how fancy we get, the physical is where we are grounded. I don’t think that realization will ever get old. I’ve been thinking a lot about how people keep saying, “It’s not about the asana.” I have to admit: in the end, I think that it *is*. Not about which one, perhaps — but definitely about the asana. Madonna wasn’t kidding when she pointed out that we are living in the material world.
What hurts is my left shoulder. Infraspinatus? Rhomboid? Posterior deltoid? Ugh, referred pain in this area is complicated. I did all of my Google research and then just pulled out the theracane and the Kwon Loong oil and tried to settle it that way.
I noticed it Monday after I cooled down from practice. Then yesterday was a Moon Day, so all I could do was continually move my shoulder around until I felt it — kind of like worrying a sore tooth.
This morning: a chance to figure out what’s going on. A nice slow practice to feel it out. Pasasana — yup. Felt it. But not like pasasana was the root of the problem. Carried on, sleuthing and breathing and healing.
Thought the LBHs would be problematic, but not at all. Daisy came over and nudged me in ekapada sirsasana, but there was no shoulder pain. So more breathing and healing… until headstands. The first timber gave me my answer: yup, that’s what cranking the shoulder. Not surprising, really — once I figure out a controlled way to play with gravity, I tend to go for it. *Without mindfulness* [I say kind of guiltily, but also kind of with my eyes rolling. Must the need for mindfulness ruin ALL my fun??]
So, how to heal: practice and pay attention. Okay. I’m down with that. Theracane, heat, a little extra sleep, salt baths. What’s not to like?
And a quick word on David Robson’s MP3 of a 4 second drumbeat. 80 minutes of 4 second intervals. Good for getting a nice even inhale and exhale. And the drumming is awesome.
Okay, I can’t resist posting. Two weeks from today, Anna and I will be on our way to Mysore. I’m thinking that at exactly this time, we’ll be over the ocean, heading for Paris. A two hour layover there, then on to Bangalore and, ultimately, Mysore.
I’ll be blogging about the trip at: http://journeytomysore.wordpress.com
So psyched! It wasn’t pretty, but I don’t care. And I’m not thinking about going back up yet. Really…
It feels *this close*… and so I’ve been karanda-ing on Saturday. And for the past few afternoons. It’s great because I don’t need a warm up, but not so great because I am using the back room (carpet instead of the tile in the yoga room, which is tough on my knees) and the carpet is wearing a hole in my elbows.
Still, this is great fun. I’m not gonna lie: it’s all very “thinky” right now — my internal monolog is very busy with “Head up! Butt back! Curl! Uddiyana! Head forward! Oh, crap, I’m falllliiiiing….” I think I need to pull up more through my ribs to curl and stick the landing.